A mother chose to allow substance abuse get in the way of her parenting. Her first thought every morning was of a longing for the next time she could use again. Although she had very little money, she did not see her addiction as the reason. Instead, she blamed her children for her financial difficulties.
When her oldest son was old enough to make money, he was well aware of the expectation to help out with the family finances. Many of his peers were considered old enough to work and most of them didn’t have the troubles he faced trying to balance his part time job and school. He was often tired in school and found himself drifting off in class more than once. His grades would have suffered if his girlfriend had not helped him realize something had to change.
He set his mind to finding another job that wasn’t so physically demanding and after searching for several months found a job in a small business office. After a trial period, he was given a raise and found that his prospects were better than they had been a few months before. He no longer struggled to stay awake in school, and he felt valued in the new job; it was like being part of a normal family.
The office was run by a middle aged woman who took an interest in the young man. She looked past the shabby clothing and found an intelligent person with a willing attitude. He impressed her enough that she offered to take him shopping to purchase a few business outfits. He was embarrassed and refused at first, but she told him he could repay for the clothing with the bonus he was expected to earn in the next quarter. He readily agreed to this proposal.
The office manager and the young man talked regularly of his grades and plans for the future, and a mentoring relationship developed. He had shown enough promise that she mentioned his plans and potential to the owner of the business. A scholarship was offered to help him with school expenses when he went to college; on the condition he continued to work for the business. The young man was very excited about this opportunity, and humbly thanked his mentor.
The boy’s mother hit the bottom while her son’s situation had been improving. She sought treatment and realized the choices she made were devastating to her children and her own health. With time, she found a new appreciation for life and for her children. Her son was skeptical of her new attitude, but was respectful toward his mother. He was afraid she might revert back to her old ways and he didn’t want to be hurt if she did.
It was a restless night that finally brought the son to have a real conversation with his mother. She was still awake and he was nervous about a project at school that involved public speaking. His mother was happy to see him, and invited him to join her rather than chastising him for being up late. The conversation lagged and after a few minutes of silence his mother apologized to him. She knew that he deserved better and had many regrets. It was a start, and he was glad that finally there was no more pretending everything was okay.
—————Thoughts that motivated this story—————
In this story I wanted to reflect on the effort to get closer
1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
In Matthew 5:1 we see the response to the large crowd of followers mentioned at the end of chapter 4 – Jesus leaves! He went up a mountain and in the next verse we learn that the large crowd followed. When the crowds realized where Jesus had gone they could have decided not to follow him. They must have been determined to know for themselves to follow Him up that mountain when they could have said it was too difficult.
If I were in need of healing or answers perhaps I would have motivation to seek out a man famous for healing people. But if I wasn’t desperate, I cannot say for sure that I would climb that mountain. I might have assumed that He was discouraging anyone from following Him and maybe doubted that the rumors were true. A man who teaches people and heals them would not disappear when he saw a crowd would he? Why do miracles if not to get attention and cause interest?
Matthew describes what transpired in a way that seems to indicate Jesus was avoiding the crowd. In analyzing this I compared this to what I know of the Father. Jesus said that if you have seen me you have seen the Father. I concluded that there is a parallel here to my experience with God. I am challenged at times to seek Him and go to places that are not comfortable. As I surrender myself to God’s will I am more apt to receive instruction from Him than when I am complacent. Thank you God for everything that brought me to closer companionship with You!